Seeming change


There is this anchor of a particular television channel, whose eyes almost pops out when she demands for war with Pakistan, distorts what we all know happened/didn’t happen and said/not said, while lambasting any political party or politician, who doesn’t happen to be from the one she apparently supports and generally masters in fake news and the like. Alas, we have so many of them in so many television channels, one could be describing almost all of them but there is this particular anchor in whom I saw a slight change at the time of writing this, on the eve of the first phase of the parliamentary elections. She actually began by questioning the party she seems to support and then went on to question the party she has been attacking since before the 2014 parliamentary election ~ probably to show her channel’s impartiality, perhaps even hers. I also noticed a slight change in the attitude and tone and tenor, as also, the language and body language of several other television anchors. This could simply be because the Election Commission has awoken from it slumber after so many retired elders wrote about its disappointing functioning in the past few weeks, as well as criticism from several other quarters, which probably prompted it to halt the release of the biopic of Narendra Modi and censure of NaMo TV. So, the Election Commission has had to finally pull up a few Union Government Ministries and advise all concerned to provide a level playing field to all political parties in the hustings for the parliamentary polls. This must have also prompted television channels to retreat from their over-drive in their blatant support for this or that party ~ who after all wants to attract contempt of court should any political party file a complaint about a channel, invite fines and even cancellation of license? So, on the face of it such “changes” in the hearts and minds of television channels seems pretty simple. But what if there is another explanation? Another murky reason for television channels? What if the predictions and projections of these channels vis-à-vis the parliamentary election results across the country are not adding up ~ seeing that things do change in the realm of politics in a blink of the eye? And then there is Rafale once again rearing its head with the Supreme Court deciding to have a relook at it. Besides, April 11 was only the first phase of the polls ~ there are six more phases to go and anything can happen during now and the final phase, which may speak to voters in different ways. There is also sufficient time for political parties and personalities to change their minds and seek newer alignments and re-alignments ~ stranger things are known to happen in the realm of politics and we have seen enough during our lifetime in Nagaland itself. And, the possibility exists for even stranger things to happen in Nagaland because we have our own unique ways of thinking and doing. Didn’t we just see seven NPF MLAs extending support to the PDA candidate while they still retain membership of their party, the NPF? Would this have been possible and allowed anywhere else? While the NPF’s logic is understandable in not expelling the perfidious seven, what is not understandable is what happened to its much claimed political integrity. Of course, the silence of the people is a given ~ seeing that we are still afraid to emancipate ourselves from our feudal mentality and way of life. Anyway, coming back to the seeming change in some television channels, it is actually not surprising because the media has also changed, as everything else. Today, the media is all about power and money ~ probably in keeping with today’s ethos. Today it is television channels, yesterday it was newspapers that bent over backwards to the powers-that-be during the Emergency ~ except for a handful who till today stand tall with their integrity intact. Tomorrow’s situation is unpredictable because of too many possibilities but the only bright side of what’s been happening to the media in the past half a decade or so is that it also acts as a barometer of the political weather and we get a glimpse of which way the wind is blowing or likely to blow. Media houses are generally owned by corporate houses and nobody knows politics better than business.